Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) is manufacturing and supplying a M501JAC gas turbine for the Marlim Azul power project. Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.
The joint venture of Patria Investment, Grupo Shell, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems is developing the 565MW Marlim Azul natural gas-fired power project. Image courtesy of BusinessWire.
The Marlim Azul thermoelectric power project is located in the Macaé municipality of Rio de Janeiro,Brazil.

The Marlim Azul is a 565MW natural gas-based thermal power project under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The gas-fired power station is being developed by Arke Energia, a joint venture formed by Brazilian private equity firm Patria Investments (50.1%), Shell Group (29.9%), and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (20%) in December 2018. The total investment on the project is estimated to be approximately £535.78m ($700m).

Arke Energia won the project the new energy auction in December 2017 by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).

The financial investment decision (FID) on the Marlim Azul natural gas-fired thermoelectric power project was announced in January 2020.

While the gas turbine was shipped to the project construction site in June 2021, the thermoelectric power plant is scheduled for commissioning by January 2023.

The Marlim Azul plant is expected to be the first power plant to use associated gas from Brazil’s Pre-Salt basin for electricity generation. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately two million Brazilian households.

Location and site details

The Marlim Azul gas-fired power project is located in the industrial complex of Macaé municipality, approximately 200km north of Rio de Janeiro city in Brazil.

The project site lies close to the Cabiúnas Terminal (Tecab) that receives natural gas from the pre-salt Campos Basin.

Marlim Azul thermoelectric power plant make-up

The Marlim Azul power plant will be equipped with an M501JAC gas turbine from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and a steam turbine for a total rated output of 565MW.

Designed to operate at a turbine inlet temperature of 1,600°C, the M501JAC series gas turbines adopt air cooling for combustors instead of steam cooling.

The gas turbine will have a shorter start-up time of 30 minutes and will provide a plant efficiency of more than 64% in combined-cycle operation.

The gas turbine is also engineered to utilise up to 30% hydrogen fuel along with a feature to upgrade it for 100% hydrogen utilisation for electricity generation.

The other major components of the power station will include a boiler, generator, cooling towers, a water treatment plant, and a natural gas station.

The power plant will be powered with Mitsubishi’s TOMONI intelligent solutions technology for optimisation of the plant’s performance and flexibility.

Gas supply

The natural gas to the Marlim Azul thermoelectric power plant will be supplied by Shell Brasil Petróleo from the deepwater pre-salt basin.


The gas-fired power project is being financed by Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). In December 2019, development partners MHPS, Patria Investments, and Shell announced the signing of a contract with the federal development bank for a loan amount of approximately £375.03m ($492.42m), repayable over a period of 24 years.

Contractors involved

Cobra Group was engaged as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project. The scope of the contract also includes testing and commissioning of the power plant.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of turbines along with the ancillary equipment. The contract scope also includes a 25-year long-term service agreement (LTSA).

Zhengzhou Boiler Group has been engaged to manufacture and supply the boiler equipment, while Complastec Company has been engaged to deliver the assembly of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes required for the project.

Empresa Brasileira de Terraplanagem e Engenharia (EBTE) was subcontracted to carry out earthworks at the construction site.